A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.
By Chris Rogers
Have you ever found yourself needing to ace an exam in order to get the grade you have been working for all year? What would you be willing to do to get that grade? Some college students are so desperate and hung up on the pressure of school they are willing to risk their health simply to gain an edge on exams. The drugs prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, such as Adderall and Vyvanse, are intended to help individuals focus and stay on track during school and studying hours. These drugs are being acquired illegally by college students for multiple uses. As a form of recreational entertainment or as a studying aid. Far more people are using these drugs than are prescribed them. HCC student Brett Hagen, 22, said he has used Adderall in the past to help himself stay awake and study. He also said that he has taken the medication to stay awake during long road trips. Hagen is not prescribed the medication but said it was not difficult to acquire. “Adderall?” he said. “It only cost me $10.” Although Hagen has stopped using Adderall to help him study, he said he is aware of many students using it regularly, not just for studying but to get high, in some cases even snorting the medication to intensify the effects. Hagen also has met some people who are prescribed to the medication, but who aren’t taking it at all. “They are prescribed a month at a time, so these kids would rather hustle their pills for seven or eight bucks a piece than take them for school,” said Hagen. Dr. Michael Gaynor, a Tampa physician, said taking the medication without a prescription can be very dangerous. He said that the medication is essentially an amphetamine, which can escalate blood pressure and heart rate. “An adverse reaction to the medication could cause an individual to stroke out or cause seizures and ticks to occur,” said Gaynor. So before you consider drugs like these, think about the long-term effects you might be inflicting on your body.